• Junior doctors working in London will not move to their next jobs in February
  • HEE says approach will vary region to region 

Junior doctors working in London will not rotate to new jobs as planned in February because of the “extraordinary” pressures on the NHS.

This mirrors what happened at a national level in March, during the first pandemic peak, where 20,000 medical trainees were stopped from rotating in April.

According to an email sent by Peter Scolding and Jeeves Wijesuriya, co-chairs of North Thames regional junior doctor committee, and Zhi Cheng, chair of South Thames regional JDC, the pause in rotations was a decision made by Health Education England London and will be in place “for a minimum of four weeks”.

The email said: “We have been clear that trainee wellbeing and patient care must remain central to decision-making, and that as soon as circumstances allow, trainees must be allowed to move onto their next training job.”

It added: “We have also been clear that annual leave booked for February should be honoured and trainees must not lose out financially through non-rotation.”

HSJ understands there are no immediate plans to do the same in the South East and East of England where covid pressures are also particularly high.

Simon Gregory, HEE deputy medical director, told HSJ: “There is no ‘one size fits all’ position as response to the pandemic varies from region to region, so we are working with all parties involved to keep any disruption to an absolute minimum.”

He added the training and education provider was “working to support the wider system in delivering vital services, but also the need to fulfil our responsibility to look after our trainees”.